Nobles County informed of 16 new COVID-19 cases
WORTHINGTON — Nobles County received word from the Minnesota Department of Health late Thursday of 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total number of positive cases to 18.
Nobles County Administrator Tom Johnson released the information in an email distributed just before 7 p.m. The complexity of the testing and the chain of communication, he said, meant that for the past several days there were no new confirmed cases within the county, despite rumors.
“We know the range in age is from 28 to 80 years old,” Johnson shared. “(We) have no additional detail to share at this time.”
Johnson also announced that the county will no longer be sharing the number of positive cases. MDH is already doing so each day, with newly released information posted on its website at 11 a.m.
“The fact is, we are not a set of numbers,” Johnson said. “All these people are someone’s neighbor or friend or family, and this pandemic will affect us all in some way. This is a time when we must pull together by staying apart as much as reasonable.
“The most powerful tool we have to change this trend is social distancing,” he added.
Johnson said far too many people are falling short in the request for social distancing in Nobles County, and he and public health officials urge people to self-quarantine if they have any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath) or have been exposed to the virus in any way. People are urged to call their doctor or nearest clinic if they are unsure what to do.
People are asked to distance themselves from others by avoiding public places, and only getting essential items or reporting to work if their job is deemed essential.
All public gatherings, including family get-togethers, should be avoided; and people should stay six feet away from anyone with whom they do not live.
Additional important strategies to prevent transmission:
Frequently wash your hands with warm soapy water, each time for at least 20 seconds.
Wipe down any ‘high touchpoint’ surfaces, such as door handles, cell phones, keys, pens, water bottles, coffee cups, etc. with an appropriate disinfectant.
Don’t touch your face.
Cover your coughs/sneezes
Find a few positive things every day to be grateful for, studies have shown it can strengthen your immune system.
Be active, get out and walk, exercise or bike. Physical activity also strengthens your immune system. Please do it safely and again, respect social distancing.
If you know someone who is home bound, call them and see what they need. The county has numerous volunteers ready to assist with those needs safely.
"We understand that making temporary sacrifices is difficult," Johnson wrote. "But doing so can mean the difference between life and death for the people of our community, and not just those at highest risk.
People are encouraged you to go to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website dashboard for the most accurate information and data about the disease at: https://mndps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f28f84968c1148129932c3bebb1d3a1a .
Locally, people may follow the Nobles County Community Services Facebook page for updates and information. The Nobles County COVID-19 hotline is 295-5100 and is currently staffed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer questions.
PPE remains in very short supply, so use any you have very wisely and only when needed.